Monday, April 13, 2009

Anniversary of Two Monster Sightings

This day in history is marked by two different alleged lake/river monster sightings that were separated by only six years, though thousands of miles apart. On April 13, 1933, the owners of the famous Drumnadrochit Hotel on the banks of Loch Ness, Scotland reported seeing an animal as large as 15-feet in length surface in the murky waters of the Loch, roll, and then plunge back into the depths. The husband and wife initially kept silent about the sighting out of concern of being accused of attempting to drum up business. Instead, the couple went to the local water bailiff to report what they saw. Much to their surprise, the bailiff told their story to a reporter who published their account in the local paper on May 2. That report is often credited as sparking the worldwide interest in the so-called "Loch Ness Monster" (or "Nessie" for short). Today, the Drumnadrochit Hotel is home to the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre (see The Loch Ness Exhibition Centre) - one of many such exhibits dedicated to the possibility of an unknown cryptid in the water of Loch Ness.

Six years later on April 13, 1939, a halibut fishing ship near the mouth of the Columbia River (see photo above) between Oregon and Washington (see Mouth of the Columbia River) in the United States encountered a similarly strange beast. According to the accounts from the crew of the Argo, a large animal reared up over ten-feet into the air at almost equal distance from the boat and looked at the crew as it stole a 20-pound halibut from one of their lines. Captain Chris Anderson later told an Oregon reporter that the head was similar to that of a camel with coarse and gray fur. The sighting was one of many such sightings in the area of the creature that locals dubbed, "Colossal Claude." While given the nickname by residents of Oregon (and reportedly connected to later sightings of "Marvin the Monster"), similar sightings had been reported up and down the coastline from as far south as San Francisco Bay in California to British Columbia. Some suggest that "Colossal Claude" might be better known as "Caddy" (or "Cadborosaurus") from Cadboro Bay in Victoria, B.C. On a side note, Argo Captain Chris Anderson is one of many local mariners remembered by a plaque at the nearby Maritime Memorial Park in Astoria, Oregon (see Maritime Memorial Park).

-Casey H.

1 comment:

Chris 'Frog Queen' Davis said...

Very interesting. The latter one is right in my backyard. I am going to have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!